Old "Giant" Squid Dwarfed by New "Colossal" Squid Species

As reported by BBC, an absolutely spectacular new specimen of a so-called “colossal squid” or Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni has been found on the surface of the Ross Sea. Previously only six specimens of this type of squid have ever been recovered. It was first identified in 1925 after two arms were recovered from a sperm whale’s stomach. Four more specimens have come from the stomachs of sperm whales and the sixth was caught in a trawl net at a depth of 2,000 meters. “Now we can say that it attains a size larger than the (18 meter long) giant squid. Giant squid (Architeuthis dux) is no longer the largest squid that’s out there. We’ve got something that’s even larger, and not just larger but an order of magnitude meaner.” says Dr. Steve O’Shea, Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand.

The new, immature colossal squid specimen has a mantle length of 2.5 metres. “It’s only half to two-thirds grown, so it grows up to four metres in mantle length.” said O’Shea. In comparison, the mantle of the giant squid is not known to be more than 2.25 metres. The colossal squid has one of the largest beaks known of any squid and also has unique swivelling hooks on the clubs at the ends of its tentacles. “This [colossal squid] animal, armed as it is with the hooks and the beak that it has, not only is colossal in size but is going to be a phenomenal predator and something you are not going to want to meet in the water.”